Farm Bill Oppose Sign on Letter

A Call to reject all proposals in the Chairmans' Farm Bill that would result in reduced food assistance to Californians.

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April 17, 2018


RE: Oppose the House Ag Committee Chairman’s 2018 Farm Bill

 

Dear California Members of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture:

 

We are writing on behalf of California’s anti-hunger community to express our concerns about the 2018 Farm Bill released by Chairman of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), late last week. 

 

Food insecurity and hunger is a significant issue threatening the health, well-being and future opportunities of Americans of all ages from urban and rural communities alike. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that 42 million individuals nationwide—13 million of them children—experience food insecurity, including 12.8 percent of Californians... Many of these people turn to government and private programs to prevent hunger, but our local food pantries and congregate meal programs report they are already unable to meet the need that already exists.

 

While this high incidence of hunger is disgraceful, it would be far worse was it not for the nation’s profoundly successful and cost-effective Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California.

 

SNAP is not only not only effective at preventing hunger and some of the worst outcomes of poverty, it also strengthens communities and retailers who depend on shoppers paying with SNAP when their income falls short.  Since every $1 billion in SNAP benefits redeemed generates $97 million in farm cash receipts, which translates into 950 farm jobs and $32 million of income to farmers and hired farmworkers and an increase of 8,900-17,900 full-time equivalent jobs in the general economy. Making cuts to SNAP will result in fewer jobs, especially in communities like those throughout California that rely on farming and food production industries.

 

The Chairman’s proposed Farm Bill would cut aid from working families with high childcare expenses. It would shorten the SNAP three-month time limit to one month and apply it to a larger group of people, including older adults and families with children. While it purports to cushion the work requirement by providing every out-of-work or underemployed SNAP recipient the ability to participate in workfare, or free work, programs to avoid sanctions, it only funds these programs with a budget so small that it wouldn’t even pay for a monthly bus pass for participants. Simply put, the Chairman’s Farm Bill, if enacted, would erect new red-tape barriers to providing vital food assistance for the nearly 4 million California SNAP recipients who need it most and who live in every California Congressional District.

                                                                

We are asking California’s Congressional Delegation to reject all proposals in the Chairman’s Farm Bill that would result in reduced food assistance to Californians. Congress should be strengthening, not weakening, national anti-hunger programs. 

 

This Letter is Co-signed by the Following Organizations

 

 

Statewide Organizations:

California Association of Food Banks

California Food Policy Advocates

California Hunger Action Coalition

Children’s Defense Fund - California

County Welfare Directors Association of     

      California

Coalition of California Welfare Rights    

      Organizations

Meals on Wheels California

Western Center on Law and Poverty

 

Regional Organizations:

Alameda County Community Food Banks

Community Action Partnership of

       Orange County

Community Action Partnership of San

       Bernardino County

Feeding San Diego

Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano

Food for People, the Food Bank for

        Humboldt County

Food Share, Inc.

Imperial Valley Food Bank

Hunger Action Los Angeles

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank

Merced County Food Bank

Mendocino Food and Nutrition Program Inc.

Orange County Food Bank

Orange County Food Access Coalition

Redwood Empire Food Bank

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

Sacramento Hunger Coalition

San Diego Hunger Coalition

San Diego Hunger Advocacy Network

San Francisco Marin County Food Bank

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin

       and Stanislaus Counties

Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa

      Clara and San Mateo Counties

St. Anthony Foundation – San Francisco

The Food Bank for Monterey County

The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

Yolo Food Bank

 

cc:

Honorable Kevin McCarthy, U.S.House of Representatives, Majority Leader

Honorable Nancy Pelosi, U.S. House of Representatives, Minority Leader

Honorable Michael Conaway, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture

Honorable Collin C. Peterson, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture

California Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

California Members of the U.S. Senate

 

For more information about California’s Anti-Hunger Priorities for Federal Lawmakers, go to www.cafoodbanks.org; www.wclp.org; or www.cfpa.net or contact:

 

Jessica Bartholow

Western Center on Law and Poverty

jbartholow@wclp.org

 

Jared Call

California Food Policy Advocates

jared@cfpa.net

Andrew Cheyne

California Association of Food Banks

andrew@cafoodbanks.org  

 

Rachel Tucker

California Association of Food Banks

rachel@cafoodbanks.org 

 

 

Cathy Senderling-McDonald

County Welfare Directors Association of California

csend@cwda.org

 


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